Jen Cody is an Annie Award Winner and Drama League nominee whose career spans theatre, film, and television. On Broadway, Jen has tickled audiences in "Cats," "Beauty and the Beast," "Grease," "Seussical," "Urinetown," "Taboo," "The Pajama Game," and "Shrek the Musical." Off-Broadway, Jen delighted audiences in "Junie B. Jones," "Andrew Lipa's The Wild Party," and "Henry and Mudge," for which Jen received a Drama Desk nomination. Her other theatrical credits include "No, No Nannette" at City Center's Encores Series and regional and touring productions of "Gypsy," "Cinderella," "On The Town," "All Shook Up" (opposite Sally Struthers), "Oklahoma," "Into The Woods," "West Side Story," "Bye Bye Birdie," "A Chorus Line," "42nd Street," "Lend Me A Tenor," and "Moon Over Buffalo."
Television and film audiences know Jen as the voices of "Charlotte" in "The Princess and the Frog" (Annie Award Winner for Outstanding Voice Acting in a Feature Production) and "Darcy" on Nickelodeon's version of the "Winx Club." Jen was a series regular on the short-lived "Untitled Paul Reiser Project" as the sassy secretary and friend "Clarissa" and had a featured on the "Law & Order" episode entitled "Crimebusters" as "Vicki Saunders," a beauty shop associate.
Currently, Jen is starring in the sold-out run of Charles Busch's hilarious new show, "Judith of Bethulia," directed by Carl Andress, at the Theater for the New City in New York City's East Village (155 First Avenue). For more on "Judith of Bethulia," follow the show on Facebook!
For more on Jen be sure to follow her on Twitter!
1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? I grew up listening to Barbara Streisand albums and acting out "Second Hand Rose" and "Sam, you made the pants too long." I loved how funny I could tell she was, just by listening to her voice. I came to NYC with my dance class and saw shows and I was hooked.
2. Who haven't you worked with that you would like to? I love Amy Sedaris' wit. Would love to work with her. I would also love to work with Mark Rylance...he's a comic genius.
3. What attracted you to "Judith of Bethulia"? What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing the show? Charles Busch. I am in awe that I get to be a part of a Charles Busch show. I learn something about comedy every night. I hope audience just laugh and think, "Did they just say that?"
4. What do you identify most with about your character "Naomi"? "Naomi" is a fighter. She may not always succeed but she is "full out" with her efforts. She saves the Jews...well, she tries to save them. Noble effort.
5. You've worked with Charles Busch before, when you were in "Taboo" and he was the book writer. What has it been like to work with him again, this time as both as the book writer and performer of the piece? "Taboo" was quite an experience. "Judith" is a completely different beast. It is nice to create without an ounce of tension or critical judgement. We are truly just making art. "Taboo" became about a lot of other things and what we all created got lost a bit in the hubbub.
6. What excites you about performing at Theater for the New City? I get to see a part of NYC that I've never seen. It's also amazing doing the show to a sold-out crowd who all want to be there because they LOVE Charles and his work. It's a dream job.
7. What's your favorite part of the rehearsal/preview period in a show? Where is your favorite place to rehearse on your own? I love doing previews where you start to find a rhythm to the comedy. That moment when you "feel the wave" and the "timing". You can't do that without an audience. I also love relaxing into it a bit and being able to take in and enjoy all of the elements that your castmates have added since you were rehearsing. And then try not to laugh. I rehearse walking down the street. When I run these lines walking down Ninth Ave, people step out of my way. It's great for moving through tourists in Times Square.....
8. What have you learned about yourself from being a performer? I realize that the parts of a show that terrify me during rehearsals are usually going to be the most fulfilling in the end. 100% of the time, this is true.
9. What's the best advice you've ever received? Laugh every day.
10. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? Well, I CAN dream about anyone...right?This is a weird question. Let's see...I have talent crushes on Joshua Henry and Jan Maxwell. Go figure. I also still dream about my husband even after 15 years...that's pretty good.
11. Favorite way to spend your day off? Sitting on the deck at our Lake house. Hubby grilling. Friends around the table. Puppies laying on their backs.Drinking wine. Good music playing and watching the sun go down.
12. Favorite skin care product? Mario Bedesco Rosewater facial spray.
13. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? Talking to animals...I want so bad to hear what my pup Chewbacca has to say to me.